Cooper 1st-half goal holds up for Bel Air against N. Harford

Bobcats stay in line for Harford County title with 3-1 league mark

Girls soccer

High Schools

October 11, 2001|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Host Bel Air had a magical ride to the state semifinals last season. This season, however, has been a little tougher, and the Bobcats have had trouble winning the big games - until last night.

Bel Air (6-5, 3-1) got a first-half goal by senior Kim Cooper, and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over North Harford in a Harford County League game.

The win keeps Bel Air, which has one county loss to Fallston, on track for the Harford County title. North Harford (7-3-1), which also lost to Fallston, drops to 3-2 in the county.

"We're starting to jell as a team, said Cooper, who leads the Bobcats with 15 goals and five assists this season. "It's taken us a while to get going, but we played with a lot of heart tonight."

Cooper's goal was a thing of beauty. The senior received a pass from junior Bethany Rothenbach on the left side of the field, and fired a hard arcing shot that beat North Harford keeper Lindsey Koerber high to the right.

North Harford had a number of chances to tie the game. The best came near the end of the first half when an apparent breakaway goal was ruled offsides.

"We gave it a great effort," said North Harford coach Tom Berg. "One of the girls pointed out that this probably takes us out of the county race, but we have bigger and better things to shoot for."

The Hawks have been to the state semifinals twice in recent years.

Bel Air coach Bill Zimmerman was equally proud of his team.

"I think we played excellent, and I think we did earlier this week [in a 1-0 loss at Fallston]," Zimmerman said. "Talentwise, I think were the same as last year, but the difference is the chemistry on the team. It's starting to kick in now."

The Bobcats finish their season at home against C.M. Wright, which is undefeated in county play. Still, Zimmerman says they can not afford to look ahead.

"We have to play them one at a time," he said. "That will be senior night for us, so it should be an emotional game, but we still have several games before that one. We can't afford to take anyone lightly."

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